The 2023 World Snooker Championship Qualifiers – Day 1

And so it begins… The World Championship started yesterday!

Eight matches concluded yesterday evening and here is WST report on day 1 at the EIS in Sheffield

Moody Wins Maiden World Qualifier

English 16-year-old Stan Moody claimed his first ever match victory at the Cazoo World Championship, beating Estonia’s Andres Petrov 10-7 in the qualifying stages at the English Institute of Sport.

Moody has been in the spotlight in recent times, having earned a professional tourcard with his victory at the WSF Junior Open. That was featured in a recent CBBC documentary called Taking My Shot. Part of the programme highlighted Moody’s relationship with 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy, who has been acting as a mentor for him.

The considerable talents of the Halifax cueist were first displayed on the professional circuit at last season’s Shoot Out, when he made the last 64. He is now just three wins away from competing at the Crucible.

Moody produced an impressive display on day one in Sheffield, crafting breaks of 59, 110, 54, 86, 90 and 72. Next up he faces China’s Zhang Anda in the second round.

I’m very proud of myself. There was such relief at potting the winning balls. I couldn’t stop shaking, I couldn’t breathe. I just tried to hold myself together and it worked,” said debutant Moody.

It means everything. All of the practice has paid off. I came here not expecting anything and just thought I’d enjoy it. When you get to nine that all goes out of the window and you are desperate to get over the line.

We first met Shaun a few years ago in Hull and he said he wanted to help me. It has gone on from there. In certain parts of games, he has told me what to do. It pays off in matches like this. It looked good in the documentary, it is like father and son.”

Martin O’Donnell earned a second round clash with the legendary Jimmy White, after an impressive 10-5 win over Hong Kong’s three-time ranking event winner Marco Fu.

O’Donnell recently topped the Q Tour standings to earn a two-year tour card, which starts next season. However, for now the Englishman is competing as an amateur.

Defeat for Fu means he is set to fall off the circuit. However, coronavirus travel restrictions meant his first and only match of last season was here at World Championship qualifying, limiting his ability to move up the rankings.

Having first come onto the tour in 2012, O’Donnell has never appeared at the Crucible. He is relishing a second round encounter with six-time world finalist White, who himself is bidding for a first trip to the Theatre of Dreams since 2006.

O’Donnell said: “Jimmy was my idol growing up, so it is a bit of a dream come true to play him at the World Championship. I never thought that would happen and he is inspirational to be doing what he is at the age of 60. To see him still digging after all of these years is very inspirational.

It would mean everything to qualify, but I’m still miles away so it is not worth thinking about at the moment. It would mean the world to me, as in all honesty you don’t feel like a proper snooker player if you’ve never been there.”

Ukraine’s 18-year-old Anton Kazakov earned his first ever win in the event with a 10-6 win over Egyptian Mohamed Ibrahim. Next up he faces Mark Joyce.

Dean Young is set to fall off the tour after a 10-5 loss against Haydon Pinhey, while Jamie O’Neil kept his chances of tour survival alive with a 10-5 win over Bulcsú Révész.

Stan Moody was indeed impressive and the 25 minutes+ last frame was extremely tense

That said, if Stan was tense, what about Andres whose career was at stake? It must have been much harder for him surely? As much as I enjoyed watching a young player displaying outstanding talent and composure, I stay by the opinion that no amateur should play in this event. What is at stake for those who fight for their survival is far too big.

Unfortunately the link above gets you to a documentary that is only available in the UK.

I was really sad to see Marco struggle so much. Given the restrictions he had to face, it would be logical to extend his tour card by a year. It has been done before.

Other than that, Steven Hallworth deserves a mention. Having trailed by 3-7, he forced a decider … but eventually lost.

All the detailed results are on

8 thoughts on “The 2023 World Snooker Championship Qualifiers – Day 1

  1. It was an enjoyable day. There were players from India, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Pakistan, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, Egypt, Austria, Ireland, Jamaica,…

    Marco Fu may have played his last match, sitting just a couple of metres from Stan Moody, playing his first. Although I have seen him before, Moody was quite remarkable. It’s not so much his age, but that he is still so small. He might have some trouble in the next couple of years as he grows in height, but clearly has immense ability.

    • He may grow… or not. Ben Fortey f.i. never did (much). Being so short is a disadvantage. But then… Ben Mertens was still small at 15 and is now extremely tall.

  2. “Other than that, Steven Hallworth deserves a mention. He beat John Astley in a decider, having trailed by 3-7 !”

    Hallworth trailed 3-7, but LOST the decider.

  3. The safety net for Andres was that he still has another year at least on the tour.

    • I do agree though that it should be the World Professional Snooker Championship. No need to include amateurs.

      • I disagree about that. I think we get far too caught up on this “amateur vs. professional” thing. Part of being a “professional” is to be able to impose oneself against amateurs. It’s the World Championship, and should in principle include players who might not be part of the British-based “tour”, if they are competitive; i.e. be inclusive. We need to fill the draw (I am a paying spectator), and we need (desperately) to give opportunities to young talents. Seeing these new players in the first round is actually one of the strengths of this event. For several years, we have seen the dividing line between “professional” and “amateur” come under question, for example by Dan Wells this season.

        However, what is unfair is to allow amateurs to gain a tour card via the 1-year list. That’s where the different “pressures” does create an imbalance.

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